Castles on the beach at Noetzie in South Africa

Castles on the beach at Noetzie in South Africa

Tales of piracy and coastal conservancy make the castles at Noetzie beach an interesting experience

Noetzie Beach is a coastal conservancy with fairy tale castles built directly on the beach, close to Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route.

One of the Noetzie Castles catching the morning sun.
One of the Noetzie Castles catching the morning sun.

 

Enjoy this unusual home of beach castles, laced with tales of piracy and fairy tale hideaways. Noetzie is voted as one of South Africa’s top beaches, you won’t want to miss this unique place. Noetzie Beach is a coastal conservancy with fairy tale castles built directly on the beach, close to Plettenberg Bay. Take advantage of the moderate winter’s in South Africa while staying at La Vista Lodge during your next visit on the Garden Route. You may even be in luck to take advantage of one of our Special Offers.

 

“Archaeological excavations of the Noetzie midden show that Noetzie has been a popular destination for the last 3,500 years.”

Now that’s a headline! If you’ve ever had the privilege of finding yourself in Noetzie, just outside of Knysna, gazing at the beauty of this coastal conservancy and the mystery that is the Noetzie Castle, then count yourself fortunate. Written reference to Noetzie date back to 1786, by Colonal Robert Jacob Gordon of the Dutch East India Company. Criss-crossing the new area, he was no doubt more than just a little impressed with this fairy-tale-like hideaway. Whether you are intrigued by the tall tales of piracy building the castles at Noetzie or simply satisfied with their actual history, the truth is that beautiful Noetzie has something special for everyone.

The Pezula Private Castle at night on Noetzie Beach
The Pezula Private Castle at night on Noetzie Beach.

 

Imagine the folk of a bygone era heading down to the beach at Noetzie, in ox wagons, enjoying a lazy afternoon in the beautiful surrounds. And what would a beach be without a rumoured shipwreck? Noetzie doesn’t disappoint, as a French vessel, the Phoenix, was wrecked on her coastline in the 1800s. It is said that original inhabitants of Noetzie were the Khoisan. Incidentally, ‘Noetziekamma’ is a Khoisan word which means ‘dark water’. This is because of the dark water of the lagoon at Noetzie Beach. The truth about the castles is that Herbert Henderson built what is known today as ‘the castle’ in 1942. Henderson’s son built Montrose in the 1970s and the Lindsay’s built Perekuil in the 1960s. Most of the castles here have been in the same families for generations and are used either as holiday homes or guest houses.

Noetzie Beach is great for hiking and beach combing. However, swimming at the beach is not recommended due to turbulent surf conditions.
Noetzie Beach is great for hiking and beach combing. However, swimming at the beach is not recommended due to turbulent surf conditions.

 

Noetzie has been voted one of the top beaches in South Africa and although swimming isn’t particularly safe due to unpredictable currents, the lagoon, incredible rock formations and remoteness of the space make it a sought after haven. Why not ask the staff at La Vista to pack you a very special picnic basket, head down to Noetzie and see for yourself what the fuss is all about? Don’t forget your sunscreen!

 

5 Interesting and fun facts about Noetzie and the castles

  1. Noetzie was originally known as Noetziekamma, the Khoisan phrase for ‘dark water’. The name may have arisen due to the reddish-brown coloration of the water. This is caused by Humic acid. Humic acid is a natural by-product of the process of leaf decay in fresh water.
  2. Noetzie was studied during Archeological excavations along the Garden Route. It was found that Noetzie has been a popular destination along the Garden Route for the last 3,500 years!
  3. Many of the Noetzie castles are still owned by the original families.
  4. There are 116 steps leading down from the parking area to Noetzie Beach.
  5. It is one of the last remaining homes for the very rare African Black Oystercatcher and is therefore a conservancy.